Pizza (2012 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Karthik Subbaraj|
|Produced by||C. V. Kumar|
|Screenplay by||Karthik Subbaraj|
|Music by||Santhosh Narayanan|
|Edited by||Leo John Paul|
|Distributed by||Sangam Cinemas|
|Box office||₹8 crore|
Pizza is a 2012 Indian Tamil-language mystery horror film written and directed by debutant Karthik Subbaraj. The film features Vijay Sethupathi and Remya Nambeesan in lead roles, while Aadukalam Naren, Jayakumar, Pooja Ramachandran and Bobby Simha play supporting roles.
The story is about a pizza delivery boy Michael (Sethupathi) who lands in a mysterious predicament and how it causes a dramatic change in his life. The film, produced by C. V. Kumaran, was released by Sangam Cinemas, a leading multiplex in Tamil Nadu and featured music by Santhosh Narayanan. It was the first Tamil film to feature 7.1 surround sound. Pizza released on 19 October 2012 and went on to become a major critical and commercial success.
This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Michael Karthikeyan (Vijay Sethupathi) is a pizza delivery boy who lives with his girlfriend Anu (Remya Nambeesan). She is an aspiring novelist and is researching for writing a horror story, whereas Michael does not believe in supernatural powers, but is afraid of anything supernatural. Anu, keeps telling him that he would soon realize the presence of supernatural beings. At first, Michael is confused and scared, and his fears are confirmed when he comes to know his boss, i.e., the Pizza restaurant owner Shanmugam's (Aadukalam Naren) daughter is possessed by a spirit. Meanwhile, Anu becomes pregnant, and after a brief altercation, Michael and Anu get covertly married. One particular day, Michael goes out to deliver a pizza to a customer and returns to the restaurant in a state of shock while covered in blood; he is apparently injured, keeps constantly muttering Anu's name, and seems to be worried about her. When his boss questions him, Michael explains that he had been to deliver a pizza to a customer named Smitha (Pooja Ramachandran) in a bungalow and recounts the events that happened at the bungalow.
Smitha requests Michael to wait downstairs while she goes upstairs to retrieve change. Almost immediately, there is power failure, which alarms Michael. While waiting downstairs completely alone in the dark, Michael hears a loud unidentifiable noise from the bedroom upstairs. Going up to investigate, he finds Smitha murdered suspiciously and notices one slice the pizza he had delivered to be missing, suggesting that there may be somebody else in the house. Horrified, Michael makes a dash for the door only to realize that it has been locked from the outside. Further more when the murdered woman's husband Bobby (Bobby Simha) arrives, he at first believes he stumbles upon his wife having an affair. Through his cellphone Michael communicates with Bobby and explains his situation thoroughly instigating Bobby to aid him on how to get out of the house. Moreover, Bobby suddenly disappears from the front entrance, and is found by Michael inside the house mysteriously murdered in the same room as his wife, with two slices of the pizza now missing. Also, Michael encounters the couple's child "Nithya", identical to the name of the spirit allegedly possessing Shanmugam's daughter.
Michael tries everything he can to get out of the house including trying to break down the sealed doors leading outside, to using the house phone which happens to work even though the line is dead. Michael manages to contact Anu using the phone and gets her to contact to the local police to come and rescue him. When a couple of policemen arrive at the bungalow, Michael believes that Anu had requested them to help him, but they reveal that four people had been killed in that house - Smitha, Bobby, their young daughter and a girl named Anu, implying that she is Michael's girl friend, Anu. The police disclose that Michael is a suspect regarding the murder case and attempt to arrest him. Confused and in tears, Michael does not believe the policemen and attempts to escape the clutches of these police men in order to go in search of Anu.
While trying to escape, Michael witnesses the police getting dragged into the house and being killed. At this juncture, Michael, in a horrified state, runs back to the restaurant. While Michael is not convinced that Anu is dead, his friends at the restaurant and Shanmugam start realizing that they had never seen Anu; they also observe that Michael's home does not have any evidence that he lived with Anu. Further, it is revealed that the haunted bungalow had witnessed the untimely deaths of a married couple, their daughter, and two policeman, whose ghosts Michael had earlier interacted with. Meanwhile, Michael seems to continue his search for Anu, has constant health issues, and seems to be disturbed by ghosts and supernatural entities.
As Michael during a delivery stops and calls Anu, the true story of what had happened is disclosed. The Income Tax department had planned on a raid at the restaurant owner Shanmugam's house. Shanmugam who has diamonds worth around 20 million hidden in his restaurant hides it in a box of candies and asks Michael to deliver it to his house. But Michael is involved in a bike accident and comes in contact with the hidden diamonds. Michael and Anu decide that stealing those diamonds would improve their life style and support their baby. So, they concoct a clever story in which Michael convincingly "forgets" the Pizza bag at the "haunted" bungalow which Shanmugam would never enter into, thanks to his fear of supernatural powers. Meanwhile, Anu has left to Kochi via Bengaluru with the diamonds and her belongings, and has obtained fake documentation using which Michael and Anu can settle abroad.
Michael, after the phone call, goes to deliver a pizza to a house and he encounters a series of events similar to the story he had narrated. Inside, he meets a little girl identical to the "Nithya" he had described in his story. Michael is locked inside the home with "Nithya" curiously looking at him. The lights then goes off followed by Michael's gasping sound in fear.
- Vijay Sethupathi as Michael Karthikeyan
- Remya Nambeesan as Anu
- Aadukalam Naren as Shanmugham
- Karunakaran as Raghavan
- Jayakumar as Srinath
- Bobby Simha as Bobby
- Pooja Ramachandran as Smitha
- Veera Santhanam
- Nalan Kumarasamy as Michael's friend (uncredited role)
- Gajaraj as police
- Girdhar Swami
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||6 September 2012|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Santhosh Narayanan chronology|
All music composed by Santhosh Narayanan.
|Tamil track listing|
|2.||"Rathiri" (Decent Version)||Arunraja Kamaraj||Haricharan||3:34|
|3.||"Engo Odugindrai"||Arunraja Kamaraj||3:05|
|5.||"Rathiri" (Arath Version)||Arunraja Kamaraj||Haricharan||4:21|
|8.||"Rathiri" (Rap Version)||2:20|
All lyrics written by Sahithi; all music composed by Santhosh Narayanan.
|Telugu track listing|
|1.||"Naa Cheli"||Pradeep Kumar||3:49|
|2.||"Rathirulo" (Decent Version)||Haricharan||3:34|
|5.||"Rathirulo (Rowdy Version)"||Haricharan, Ananya||4:21|
|6.||"Na Cheli Prelude"||1:26|
Pizza was released on 19 October 2012 by Sangam Cinemas Chennai, in 300 theatres initially and the number of theatres was increased to 600 after the film's positive response. Pizza was made on a budget ₹ 15 million. The satellite rights of the film were secured by Sun TV.
Bejoy Nambiar bought the Hindi remake rights of Pizza and he will produce under his banner Getaway Films. Producer Suresh Kondeti acquired the Telugu dubbing rights of the film, while Prashant Raj of Love Guru fame bought the Kannada remake rights of the film. Following the film's success, sources reported that it may be remade in Hollywood as well. Renowned Bengali Director Birsa Dasgupta was also remaking the film as Golpo Holeo Shotti.
Pizza received widespread acclaim from critics. N. Venkateswaran from The Times of India gave 4 out of 5 stars and wrote that director Karthik Subburaj displayed a "strong control of the medium and gives abundant display of his narrative skills", going to add: "If he maintains the quality of his menu and future offerings, Karthik [...] is sure to become one of Kollywood's top directors". Sify termed the film as "delicious" and described it as "entertaining and at the same time different in its approach". Malini Mannath from The New Indian Express described Pizza as "offbeat, intriguing and gripping, and nothing like what you've seen on Tamil screen before". A reviewer from Behindwoods.com stated, Karthik Subburaj played "all the cards required to make a quality horror suspense film with a thrilling screenplay, deft camerawork, strong performances, eerie sound effects and music". Indiaglitz.com wrote: "If the success of a thriller lies in bringing the film-goer to the edge of the seat, Pizza does it. With right toppings in the form of a taut screenplay, deft camera work, eerie sound effects and nice background score, the movie manages to leave a mark". Vivek Ramz of in.com rated it 3.5/5 and cited that Pizza was a "well made suspense thriller that keeps you guessing for most parts". Top10Cinema.com wrote that the story had been told "very interestingly" and that "horror movie buffs will certainly enjoy this Pizza".
Some mixed reviews were given by Malathi Rangarajan from The Hindu and Haricharan Pudipeddi from Nowrunning.com, who both criticized the first half of the film. The former claimed that the second half of Pizza has a "reasonably enjoyable tanginess, but to get to that you have to sit through the protraction of the first" and that "the screenplay [...] doesn't render much help", while the latter concluded that the film displayed "signs of a craftily executed thriller, but falls short of satisfaction due to erratic narration", giving it 2.5 out of 5 stars.
A sequel called Pizza 2: The Villa was produced and released the following year by the same production house. The sequel did not carry on with the characters from Pizza, but told another eerie tale, with Ashok Selvan and Sanchita Shetty playing the lead roles.
- Best Actor (Critics) - Vijay Sethupathi
- Best Debutant Director - Karthik Subbaraj
- Nominated—Best Film
- Nominated—Best Cinematographer - Gopi Amarnath
- Vikatan Award For Best Screenplay - Karthik Subbaraj
- Vikatan Award For Best Cinematography - Gopi Amarnath
- Vikatan Award For Best Editing - Leo John Paul
The success of Pizza turned Vijay Sethupathi into one of the most sought-after actors in Tamil cinema. Along with Pizza, Sethupathi scored back-to-back successes with Sundarapandian (which featured him in negative role) and Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom in the same year resulting in a rise in his popularity.  Film critic Baradwaj Rangan stated that Sethupathi had become "[...] sort of [an] indie-film star, the first ever in Tamil cinema". The film also established C. V. Kumar as a producer who went on to produce films with innovative themes throughout his career. Pizza and Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi became trendsetters and established the trend of short filmmakers making their cinematic debut.
- "Direct hits". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "Variety on offer". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Pizza: First film in Kollywood to feature 7.1 surround sound". News18. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "Attakathi and Pizza followed by..." Behindwoods. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Pizza 3d trailer". Youtube.
- "'Pizza' wins Box Office race in October". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "Bejoy Nambiar to produce 'Pizza' in Hindi". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Tamil Super Hit Pizza in Telugu". Super Good Movies. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- "One more from Kollywood". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Pizza in Hollywood". Behindwoods. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Galpo Holeo Sotti is not plagiarized:Birsa Dasgupta". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- "Pizza Review". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "Pizza Movie Review". Sify. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- "Pizza (Tamil)". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- "Pizza Movie Review". Behindwoods. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Pizza - Served hot". Indiaglitz. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Tamil Review:Pizza tastes mostly good". in.com. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- "Pizza - Movie Review". Top10cinema. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "Pizza: Freshly made". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- "Pizza Review". Nowrunning.com. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "Ananda Vikatan Awards for 2012". 24 January 2013.
- "Vijay Sethupathi signs up 'Rummy'". The Times of India. 14 December 2012.
- "Vijay Sethupathy- Hat trick hero". Sify. 18 December 2012.
- Baradwaj Rangan (14 December 2012). "Bergman, who? Hello new-age directors!". The Hindu.